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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Rainbow sash protests planned

The Rainbow Sash Movement is planning a protest at Westminster Cathedral during the 10.30am Mass this coming Sunday 23 May. The website says:
The Rainbow Sash is worn during the Sacred Liturgy as a symbol of self identification, and indicates that the wearer is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally (LGBTA).
The text goes on to say:
Pentecost is the Birthday of the Universal Church it is a time to celebrate our diversity as a people of faith with honesty. We welcome all who believe that all the member s of our Church can approach the sacred Eucharist with humility, and integrity.

Participation does not require membership in the Rainbow Sash Movement or that you need to be of the Catholic faith. None Catholics are encouraged to join us in this celebration.
(Spelling and punctuation errors in the original.)

First of all, it should be understood clearly that this kind of protest does not by any means represent all homosexual Catholics. Many Catholics with a homosexual orientation would find this confrontation in the context of the Mass to be abhorrent. Many also would resist the idea of "self identification" as though a homosexual orientation defined who one is. They do not feel "alienated" from the Church which has shown compassion and sensitivity in her public teaching and in countless confessionals both in England and across the world.

There is also a failure to indicate that the invited non-Catholics should not in any circumstances ask to receive Holy Communion without specific permission according to the norms of One Bread One Body.

The Rainbow sash website has a link which doesn't work. To gain some idea of what the movement supports and is tied in with, see: Queering the Church.

Back in 2002, Cardinal George Pell gave a sensible and balanced explanation of why he refused Holy Communion to people involved in the Rainbow Sash protest.
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